Music Copyrights on YouTube

Posted: February 12th, 2011 | Author: | Tags: , , | No Comments »

youtube and copyright

A while ago I made a couple of slideshows along with music using the excellent site animoto, and made the videos available to family and friends. I decided to move these videos to YouTube using their export option, and got a little surprise from YouTube. They had analyzed the audio tracks in my videos using their content id system and found two of them to have copyrighted tracks.

So what did it mean? The first copyright notice kindly informed me that

Your video, FRIENDS , may include content that is owned or administered by these entities:

  • Entity: Sony Music Entertainment Content Type: Sound Recording

As a result, your video is blocked in these locations:

  • Germany

What should I do?

No action is required on your part. Your video is still available everywhere not listed above. In some cases ads may appear next to your video.

No big deal so far, except for the ads that they’d be putting on my personal videos.

The next video had a more serious issue; the audio was blocked on it. Thanks to the folks at WMG, I was unable to share a personal video with family and friends.

About a month and a half later, now the copyright notice says:

No action is required on your part. Your video is still available worldwide. In some cases ads may appear next to your video.

What is wrong with this picture? Copyright has gone so far that I cannot make “mixtapes” for my family anymore. They reach in and block the audio (or the entire video). And in the case of the second video, they suddenly change their minds and allow the audio. So what are my options here as a consumer, someone who has bought these tracks and then decided to use it for personal purposes? I am left with YouTube that automatically decides what I’m doing is copyright infringement without considering the context. There’s no recourse for me. Even their dispute page strongly discourages users from disputing by saying

There are very few valid reasons for disputing a claim. Please review the information below, because submitting an invalid dispute could result in penalties against your account.

It looks like the ideals of internet and business realities are butting heads. YouTube wants to be the medium where people share videos – some commercial, some very private – yet they haven’t been able to find a balance in enforcing the current copyright laws. Of course, the real reason behind this silliness is current copyright laws but legislation is always very slow to catch up to technology. In the meantime I’ll have to look elsewhere for sharing my videos with family and friends.